Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Let's Get Physical

I just got back from the Elmbridge Leisure Centre, the place I go to work out.  It's only a couple miles from the house and a truly wonderful facility.  What I've noticed is that an older crowd usually gathers to exercise in the mornings once the rush hour traffic has settled.  It could be worse, right, having to exercise alongside a pack of 25-yr-olds with 0% body fat and perky boobs.  Sure, there's some wheezing and the older crowd moves a bit slow, but that's not a bother.  It's the danged farts and BO that drive me crazy.

It never fails that I end up by somebody stinky.  There's this older fella that looks like John McEnroe will when he hits about 85.  Old John always wears his light grey windsuit zipped up under his chin(s) and one of those stretchy terry cloth sweat catching bands around his head.  I'm thinking he has probably had it since the 70s when they were in vogue.  His trainers (Brit speak for tennis shoes) are white enough to blind me and have a serious heel on them, so I'm thinking special order orthotic.  

John shuffles along through the cardio machines, spending a max of 8-10 min on the bike, elliptical and treadmill, which is pretty good for someone his age.  He always locates the youngest female on each machine and then parks it right next to her.  Unfortunately, this means he's next to me a couple times a week since I seem to have picked the geriatric hour for my daily exercise.  I always give him the nod, the I have my headphones on and you're old enough to be my grandpa so don't try to chat me up look.  I'm here to exercise, not listen to your tales about gout or sciatica.

It doesn't take long for my neighbor to really get going, and I don't mean his strides per minute.  I have no idea if it's audible since I'm listening to my iPod.  It doesn't really matter, though, because I would classify these as silent killers.  Is the poor old guy eating cat food for supper?  It's all I can do not to gag and pinch my nose closed to escape the stench.  John just continues on at his snail's pace as if he hasn't just created a toxic fart cloud that's about to strangle me.  It's not like I can just hold my breath until it dissipates or move away for a few minutes.  There must be some sort of pill he can take to manage his little malodorous condition - Gas Extinguisher or Fart Be Gone.

Then there's the younger guy in his 60s that wears all white - every time I see him.  The same outfit.  I don't know if he's going out to play tennis later or what.  It's likely he just wears this little ensemble all week without any laundering in-between workouts.  It took me a while to figure out who was so stinky.  I can see forgetting to put on your deodorant every once in a while.  But seriously, it's not as if old Whitey can't catch a whiff of his own offensive body odor.  I seem to have a keen sense of smell and am the lucky one who knows he's still in the cavernous cardio room, even if I can't see him.  I'm guessing BO guy doesn't have a wife, or maybe one who has lost her sense of smell.  

And now to tattle on myself...  I've been taking classes and using the bikes or ellipticals since I started working out over here.  A couple days ago I got on a treadmill for the first time.  I ramped it up to 4 mph and it just wasn't getting up to speed.  So I got off and hopped on another treadmill.  Again, it was having problems.  I moved over to a third treadmill and still the same problem with the speed.  At this point I'm getting frustrated.  I hope off and move to yet another treadmill when it finally dawns on me.  It's set to display in kilometers, not miles.  Duh!

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